I have four children. Two singletons and one set of twins. The day I saw two heads on that ultrasound screen was a huge aha/uh-oh moment. I knew life would never be the same, but I didn’t quite know what would be different. The phrase organized chaos sums it up nicely! Out of a desperate sense of needing to control something, I discovered a few tricks to multiple mommying.
Magnetic Notepad on the Fridge
Let me tell you, this $1 item has saved my sanity many times. Since we brought home two more people, not only do we go through “stuff” at an alarming rate, I have noticed my memory for little things, like buying toilet paper and paying the electric bill on time isn’t quite what it used to be. The trick is to run to the fridge immediately after realizing what the needed item/errand is. Write it down quickly before another request comes in for strawberry milk, juice, animal crackers, first-aid, bathroom assistance, breaking up a fight, fixing a toy and on and on and on.
This morning I needed two band-aids for blisters on my heels. Unfortunately, we only had Spiderman band-aids. I took a deep breath, applied them to my boo-boos, walked to the fridge and added band-aids (for grown-ups) to the list. Obviously, this item should have already been on the list, but I digress.
Extra Laundry Basket
I have a laundry basket that doubles as a “stuff” transporter. It is used to carry items to and from daycare, preschool, friend’s house, beach day, playgrounds, etc. With so many little ones and all of their little stuff, trying to keep track of it all is mind boggling at times. After losing the best blanket on planet earth and the hysterics that followed, I had to come up with something.
I know some people think the laundry basket is strange, and it has become kind of a joke at preschool. I sometimes walk in the door and hear, “Mrs. Mitchell is here with her laundry basket!” but I (almost) always leave with everyone’s lunch boxes, sippy cups, blankets, school work, art projects, home work, rewards from the treasure chest and dirty clothes. It seems to help the kids too. They know if they want it to come home, it better be in the laundry basket.
When we walk into the house, the basket comes with us. Everyone’s shoes come off the feet and go into the basket. Lunchboxes get cleaned out and into the basket they go. Take home folders are emptied and put back into the basket. The basket has it’s assigned place in the laundry room and there it stays until the next day.
Patience/A Sense of Humor
I tie these together because I have found that laughing is relaxing and fills me with patience. When I am patient, I enjoy my children a lot more. Plain and simple, right? Right! Easier said than done.
I remember one evening I was feeding the twins in their highchairs. One was happy with a glob of food dribbling all over the place while the other one was crying for more. I fed the crying one. Now that one was happy, but by then the other one had swallowed their glob and was crying for more. Scoop food, shovel in mouth, scoop food, shovel in mouth. One happy, one crying, one happy, one crying. Back and forth and back and forth. I took a deep breath and hollered to my husband (who was in the kitchen making dinner for the rest of us), “Get the camera out, honey. Someday, this will be funny!” During the photo shoot, something happened. Things settled down again. We all found some patience to get us through to the next event. Somehow we all managed and continue to do so every day.